Intra-party rifts persist over ticket allotment in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) even through the deadline for submitting nomination papers ended on Sunday.
Alleged unfair allotment practices have compelled candidates to contest independently from their respective parties.
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has given a ticket to Abdullah Shah and Shiekh Idrees for NA-7 and NA-8, but both candidates have refused to contest elections. Former parliamentarian Gohar Shah has also been given a ticket.
JUI-F provincial vice amir Syed Rahim Shah has expressed reservations over nominations. A faction within the JUI-F led by Maulana Samiullah in Mohmand Agency has filed an appeal to the party’s parliamentary board against ticket holder Ghulam Sadiq.
Similarly, in Mohmand and Bajaur agencies, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers criticised the party leadership and claimed the PML-N has been hijacked by Central Vice President Amir Muqam. Party leaders Asghar Khan and Bahadar Khan in both agencies have decided to contest the polls independently. They said the party workers were not even consulted on core issues and cannot continue supporting him [Muqam] anymore.
Also mired with internal conflicts is the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The party is being led by Dr Bashir and Iqbal Afridi groups in the tribal areas and they have filed their nomination papers.
Fakar-e-Alam, a former candidate for NA-36, was surprised over the rifts considering that other parties are busy campaigning while the PTI is still quarreling over assigning portfolios and tickets in Fata.
“Our party has yet to come out of the wait-and-see policy and this will ultimately harm us,” Alam said, adding the party has not succeeded in allotting tickets to suitable candidates. This will compel workers to create hurdles during the elections.
Nijat Khan, a PTI leader in Charsadda, agreed with Alam and held ‘internal elements’ responsible for dividing workers following the intra-party elections. “I fear these elements will further damage the party,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2013.